The Achilles Tendon attaches the muscle to the bone at the back of the lower leg. It also happens to be the thickest tendon in the human body, underscoring its significance. Many at times you hear sportsmen or women unable to compete because of inflamed Achilles tendon which basically means it has been overused or injured in the course of competing.
An inflamed tendon is usually sore or stiff and makes both walking and running painful or uncomfortable. Sometimes an athlete, or anyone for that matter, involved in vigorous physical activity that involves the use of legs can suffer from torn or raptured Achilles tendon.
Before operative treatment is sought, it is usually advisable to go for remedial massage which can be employed to reduce the inflammation or tear and nurse the athlete back to full fitness.
Massage has several advantages like breaking down scar tissue, igniting the flow of blood and in turn aiding the healing of inflamed or torn Achilles tendon. It also has an additional benefit of helping in the stretching of calf muscles.
One of the most fundamental principles in healing injured tendons is that they should not be interfered with while in the process of healing. This is because as noted earlier, overuse of the tendons may lead to injury in the first place. However, healing tissues still need to be stimulated to aid in the flow of tissue fluid and spark the process of repair for the connective tissues.
Transverse friction massage is one of the massage methods employed in the treatment for Achilles tendonitis. The message strokes are usually deep and are applied straight to the injured area, vertical to the direction of that particular tendon. When this type of massage is done properly, it lowers considerably the level of pain, aid in circulation of blood in the surrounding areas and inhibit the generation of scar tissue.
Applying strain and counter strain is another massage therapy technique for Achilles tendonitis. This method basically involves applying strain and counter-strain on the muscles of the calf to get rid of the additional stress that weakened or tightened muscles load on the Achilles tendons.
While message therapy can speed up the healing process for Achilles tendons, it is important to employ other techniques to aid in the recovery process. Since stress and strain are the major causes of tendonitis, it is advisable that your calf muscles should be well rested to reduce the pressure on them.
As most athletes do, you can also apply ice to reduce the inflammation. You can also wear heel pads to elevate the heel which will effectively reduce the strain on the Achilles tendons. If you are a sports person or exercise regular, it is not advisable to change your whole routine at once as this may cause injury. It is best if it is done gradually so that the muscles adapt to the stress and strain.
There are ointments for performing massage therapy so make sure you get the correct one because some may increase the inflammation. Where in doubt or pain persists, visiting the doctor is always the best idea.